The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has ruled in favour of the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) and deregistered Andile Mngxitama’s movement, Black First Land First (BLF) as an officially recognised political party.
The road leading up to BLF’s booting
Mngxitama’s movement, founded on the objective of realising the radical transformation of black people in South Africa, was established in 2015.
Born out of the frustrations of being exiled by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Mngxitama gave rise to political rhetoric that bordered on extremism.
The notion of leading the transformation of black people was acceptable, just not at the detriment of others.
Perhaps, one of the key reasons why the IEC — months after allowing the party to participate in the 2019 general elections — arrived at this decision, was in their extroverted distaste for non-black people.
“You kill one of us, we will kill five of you. We will kill their children, we will kill their women, we will kill anything that we find on our way,” was one of the most notorious quotes that got Mngxitama in legal trouble.
Why has the IEC deregistered the BLF?
After much consideration, and further convincing from the FF Plus, the Commission finally decided to deregister the BLF as a political party based on section four of the party’s constitution which stipulates that “only black people may become members of the party.”
“The deregistration of the BLF as a political party is a great victory for the whole of South Africa because racialism and intolerance, as was advocated by Mngxitama, must not be tolerated. The fact that the appeal was granted means that justice prevailed.
“The FF Plus has been fighting for law and order in this case since January. It is unacceptable that the IEC violated the Act by registering the BLF in the first place. Legislation may not be seen as mere guidelines, it must be complied with. No one is above the law,” FF Plus leader, Pieter Groenewald noted in a statement.
While Groenewald applauded the Commission for acting in the interest of democracy and equal representation, he was critical about its reluctance to act sooner.
“The FF Plus is satisfied with the victory but is disappointed with the IEC because the Commission initially defended the registration of the party, which was clearly in contravention with the relevant legislation. The FF Plus fights back against racialism and lawlessness and will not back down in the face of troublemakers like the BLF,” he added.
Mngxitama is expected to react to the outcomes of the FF Plus appeal. As far as we understand it, the BLF leader has been at the forefront of protests being held outside the state capture inquiry headquarters in Parktown, Johannesburg, showing support to former president, Jacob Zuma, who is currently providing testimony.